Tag Archives: Books

GetReligion.com on "Kellerism" - once i trained myself to look for these things, they become obvious.


on gay "marriage"

Now, slowly yet undeniably, evangelicals are changing their minds.

Well, sure.  All you have to do is broaden the term "evangelical" until it's meaningless, then everything changes.


Books to read since...forever.

I'll put them on my list...because...classics.

And (these are "new" fiction...I'll add these because...brain candy.

and another list...


Why I’ve Stopped Singing in Your Church


'“Islamophobia,” which, like “homophobia,” is a way to pathologize those who disagree with a dominant narrative'

I think I need to reduce "Currently Reading" (which means finishing a Christian book and a secular book quickly 😉


Currently Reading:

  • Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Francis Beckwith and Greg Koukl)
  • The Days of Noah (Fiction, Mark Goodwin)
  • A High View of Scripture (Craig D. Allert)
  • After the Event (Fiction, T.A. Williams)
  • Seven Days that divide the World (John C. Lennox)
  • Citizen Soldiers (History, Stephen E. Ambrose)
  • The Dangers of a Shallow Faith (A.W. Tozer)
  • The Sacrifice Game (Fiction, Brian D'Amato

Reading With a Group:

  • On Christian Doctrine (Augustine)

Finished and waiting to Review:

  • The Lost World of Genesis One (John H. Walton)
  • The Splendour Falls (Fiction, not reviewing)
  • 47 Ronin
  • Everyday Prayers (Scotty Smith)
  • Bonhoeffer: A Biography (Eric Metaxas) - review scheduled
  • God and the Gay Christian: A Response to Matthew Vines
  • The Formation of the Canon of the New Testament (B.B.Warfield)

Devotional On Deck (I don't use all of these all the time, sooo...just that.)

  • Lifting Up Our Hearts
  • Milk and Honey
  • New Morning Mercies (Paul David Tripp)
  • Joy:  A Godly Woman's Adornment (Lydia Brownback)
  • Praying for your Husband from Head to Toe (Sharon Jaynes - this might be moved from "Devotionals" since it's not set up very well)
  • Couples of the Bible (Robert and Bobbie Wolgemuth)
  • Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars (Stephen Miller)
  • Keeping the Ten Commandments (J.I. Packer)

Coming up Soon:

  • Biblical Inerrancy: the Historical Evidence
  • My Battle Against Hitler
  • Ten Myths About Calvinism

Working through a study

  • The Good News We Almost Forgot (dropped part way through, will pick up again)
  • Taking God at His Word (ditto)
  • New Testament Documents, Are They Reliable? (For a study
  • Jesus and the Eye Witnesses



A couple of terms were introduced, both of which color the system's view of eschatology.

(note: the descriptions, as I understand them, apply only to end times.)

Dispensationalism: all things are interpreted literally, all promises to Abraham and David are yet to be fulfilled (no promises have already been fulfilled)

Preterist: most of all prophecies concerning the end times have already been fulfilled.

Riddlebarger explains that neither of these views are correct.

When Scripture uses figurative language, interpret it figuratively.  Dispensationalism takes the figurative and forces it into literalism.

Prophetic passages can also contain a "has passed, but has yet to come to pass" dual meaning.

Riddlebarger helps us understand that there were anti-Christ types before Jesus walked this earth, and that there have been many anti-Christs, and there will be more.

Therefore, since Antichrist has already come, remains with us today, and will come again, understanding the tension between the already and the not yet is the key to understanding what the doctrine of Antichrist actually entails, and understanding this tension enables us to know how we are to combat him.

Kim Riddlebarger. Man of Sin, The: Uncovering the Truth about the Antichrist (p. 36). Kindle Edition.



Just finished it the first time.

Still don't get it, so I'll blog through it.

the first piece I'll work through is the "why" - why are we so fascinated with the "anti-christ?"

Riddlebarger says that it's because we don't quite see "evil" as evil unless we can put a face to it.  Communism is bad, but unless we can put an evil dictator's face to it, we don't seem to connect it to life.

Another thing is that the "Left Behind" series put a name to him.  That makes it more tantalizing and we "see" more clearly.

But what we think we know (via end times fiction) might not necessarily be what the Bible says about the "man of sin."


Next question:  why am I interested in this topic?

End times in general, I think - everybody wants a glimpse into the future.  What will happen?  What will happen to those I love?  Will there be a rapture, or will we be here during the "great tribulation?"

I lean "a-mil" so I believe that Christians will be here during the great tribulation - we've been here before, we will be again.  The world hates us; and the more we love Jesus, the more they hate us.

Do I want to "date set?"  Since Christ left, Christians have looked forward to His return.  Is it near?  Is it far?  How do we know?

Is the Anti-Christ a sign?  Who is he?

In the end, curiosity brings me to this topic...














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I'm reading "Cold Case Christianity" and this paragraph stuck out.

In those days, as I was evaluating the claims of Christianity, I demanded a form of evidence (direct evidence) that simply isn’t available to anyone who is studying historical events. I failed to see that rejecting (or devaluing) circumstantial evidence would prevent me from understanding anything about history (when eyewitnesses of a particular event are unavailable for an interview). If I continued to reject (or devalue) circumstantial evidence, I would never have been able to successfully prosecute a single cold-case killer. All of us need to respect the power and nature of circumstantial evidence plays in making the case for Christianity.

The author had explained how circumstantial evidence compares to direct evidence, and how a solid case can be built on circumstantial evidence alone.

We don't have direct evidence today for Christianity - it is all historical, circumstantial, or subjective. But if a criminal case can be built on circumstantial evidence to convict the criminal, a circumstantial case can also be built to free the slave.

The atheist will claim that we cannot prove that God exists. True, we don't have direct evidence...but what does the circumstantial evidence point to?

Every so often I start a book that just doesn't seem like it's worth finishing...So once a month I'm planning on posting a "not a review" for those "zero star" books...

First up...

JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy

at 28% done, I decided to call it a day. the book is listed at a "bargain price" and is written by a pilot who flew with the "movers and shakers" of the war. It communicates a lot of information, but in a way that is not all that readable.

I did take away a renewed understanding of the futility of the Viet Nam war, and I guess it's a good thing that we look at ALL war with the same cynical eye.

(Edit: okay, I'm working at it again...)

I started this book once before and rarely do I find a book that is so antithetical to what I believe - that is presented as truth...that I am too distraught to read it.

"Allah - A Christian Response" is one of them

Three quotes:

What the Qur’an denies about God as the Holy Trinity has been denied by every great teacher of the church in the past and ought to be denied by every orthodox Christian today. I reject the idea that Muslim monotheism is incompatible with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

Let's start with the Doctrine of the Trinity

They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God." (Qur'an 5:73)

Then: Jesus is the Son of God and **IS** God.

Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle; many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! (Qur'an 5:75)

I recognize that the author makes his statement in a squishy sort of way...it is difficult to prove a negative.

But what is essential is that neither religion AFFIRMS what the other religion teaches about their God.

Christians believe that Jesus IS God.
Muslims believe He was a prophet and no more.

Christian believe that we worship one God in Three Persons...blessed Trinity.
Muslims believe that is blaspheme.

The effort to show that we worship the same God is an effort in a slight of hand.

So...yup.  Zero stars


I think this is one I'll go through here (spiritual discipline, perhaps?)

As I was reading this book, the first part seemed like it is full of "white guilt" - expanding the sin of racism to all white people in the USA by virtue of the color of their skin.

After that, Piper explores individual sins on both sides of the issue - "both" because the reality is (at this point, anyway) the big divide seems greatest between African-Americans and Americans of European descent.  There is plenty of sin to go around.

When Piper gets into the meat of the topic - WHY it is a sin and why it matters, this is an excellent book.  I also broadened to topic to include "favoritism" (not just the race kind) and it became more excellent.

by your blood you ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation, (Rev. 5:9)

From chapter 6 on, the book is steeped in the Gospel.  We are all created in the image of God - to practice favoritism in any way strikes at the image.

I'm giving this 4 stars (also working on a star system... 😉



"The Heresy of Orthodoxy"

In the first chapter, Kruger frames the direction of the book.

If "heresy" (divergent thinking) was the order of the day in the first and second century, and it wasn't until Rome had enough power to vote orthodoxy into place, heresy came first - and was the norm.  The idea that there was and "orthodoxy" was heretical (outside of common thinking)


If the writers of New Testament Scripture were unified in doctrine (although not necessarily practice), then there was an "orthodoxy" ("conforming to established doctrine especially in religion" - per Merriam-Webster) before the word "orthodoxy" was used.


My thinking is that if God, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the writers, He would not have inspired them to say conflicting things. (1 Corinthians 14:33 - For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.) There is no conflicting doctrinal statements in Scripture.

Yes, there was divergent thinking in the early church. Paul addressed it.

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:6-7

So there were doctrinal differences, but it was not a good thing.

What Walter Bauer misses is the men who codified "orthodoxy" He treats the topic as if they all just got together one day and decided to vote on what they liked best, and "orthodoxy" is no more correct (or incorrect) than the "different gospel."

In this case, "heresy" became heresy because of orthodoxy.

But...if what happened was that false teaching was becoming more prevalent and needed to be addressed by church leadership as a whole, they would have gathered together in prayer and study, in order to determine from Scripture what "orthodoxy" was. They weren't looking for what was most popular, they were looking for what was most true. Orthodoxy was codified in response to heresy - but it was present from the start.

In this case, "orthodoxy" came before heresy.

This is a bit from "God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology" (I have a few comment underneath)

The Center of the Theology of the New Testament Letters:  The authors of these twenty-one letters are radically united in the proclamation of bizarre ideas.

To see this, let us engage in a bit of contrastive analysis, contemplating what these authors did not do and what their letters do not advocate.

Rome was not their kingdom, and they were not trying to make it home. They sought the city that is to come. Not one of these authors gave his life to address the systemic injustice of the Roman Empire by means of political reform. Not one of these authors went the way of Josephus and sought to cozy up to the emperor, though Paul seems to have had opportunities to seek such “influence” with some high-ranking officials. Not one of these authors did or said anything about trying to stop Rome from fighting its wars. Not one of them championed the idea that the government should take money from the rich and redistribute it equally to the poor, nor did they leave the ministry to advocate a government of greater fiscal responsibility, lowered taxes, and increased national security. Not one of these authors taught that the way to change the world is by initiating a universal, government-funded education program. Not one of these authors was out to make as much money as he possibly could. Not one of these authors embraced one of the popular philosophies of the day, nor did they seek to synthesize the message of Jesus with the spirit of their age. None of them advocated higher moral standards in society at large (outside the church), nor did they lobby for universal health care or a revised definition of marriage that would legitimate same-sex unions.  None of them seem to have cared whether anyone reading their letters would be perceived by the broader culture as hip, savvy, chic, or cool. They had a different program.

These authors believed that the decisive event in the story of the world had taken place. God loved the world by sending his Son, condemned sin in the flesh of Jesus, poured out all his wrath on Jesus at the cross, and accomplished salvation through that ultimate display of justice. God raised Jesus from the dead, and Jesus commissioned his followers to make disciples by proclaiming the good news.

How did they go about carrying out this commission? They all basically did the same thing. None appears to have sought to carry out the commission through political or educational institutions. According to the book of Acts, they simply told people, whether groups or individuals, who God is, what he had accomplished in Jesus, and what this implied for them. God accomplished salvation through judgment in Jesus, and the implication for every auditor of the message is that they would either believe and be saved or disobey (be unpersuaded by) the gospel and be judged. Through the announcement of judgment, the saved rejoiced in and glorified God. The converts, those who believed the message, were gathered into congregations, churches. Paul, Peter, and James all refer to elders who led these churches.

The authors of the letters studied in this chapter wrote what they did to form, instruct, and protect the churches. Their message is that God has glorified himself by working salvation through judgment in fulfillment of the Old Testament in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Their message is that there is a way of life that evidences belief in that message, and a way of life that does not. Their message is that God has sent the Spirit, who has given new life to those who believe; and the Spirit will keep them to the end, so that on the last day, when Christ comes to save through judgment, they will be those who glorify God for his mercy. The center of the theology of the letters of the New Testament is the glory of God in salvation through judgment.

I think where this goes sideways is the apparent false dichotomy between political activism and spreading the gospel.  Does spreading the gospel rule out being politically active?

If one of the messages of Scripture is that Christians should pursue justice, one way to do that is through the political system.

Other than that...the authors of Scripture wrote exactly what the Spirit wanted them to write.  No more, no less.